Seattle is not a city known for its late nights. When the bars close their doors (usually by 1:30) most Seattleites quietly shuffle home and fall asleep in front of the latest episode of “Parks and Rec,” their hand resting gently against a half-eaten bowl of whatever monstrosity they managed to concoct out of ramen noodles and a shelf full of condiments.
But for those visitors without a fridge to raid (or those locals too inebriated to navigate a stove-top) there are a few late-night options which stay open long enough to soak up that last shot of whiskey you probably shouldn’t have taken.
5 locations: Ballard, Capitol Hill, Lake City, Queen Anne, and Wallingford
It’s true most Seattleites are coffee-sipping, REI-shopping, organic-food-eating, die-hard liberals. And although we’re often too pretentious to eat at McDonald’s or Wendy’s, sometimes we do crave fast food (we’re potheads too, after all). How do we solve this moral and culinary dilemma? Dick’s: Seattle’s hopelessly ironic local fast food chain.
The menu is rather minimalist, but if all you need is to satiate your primal urge for deep-fried goodness, then a Dick’s deluxe burger ($2.70) and fries ($1.50) will do the trick. And with five locations in the city, there’s probably one near you.
Location: 1001 E Pine Street
Though it only opened a few years ago, Rancho Bravo has already become a local landmark, known for its cheap, tasty eats and good people watching. The small Mexican restaurant has all the lard-soaked authenticity of a taco truck, but with the grimy convenience of a KFC dining room. Open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, and situated in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, there’s no better place to catch drunken Seattleites in their native habitat.
Location: 125 Boren Ave North
Wondering where to get escargot at four in the morning? How about baked brie? Or a nice piece of sesame-seared ahi? You might regret spending so much money on food you can’t remember eating, but this could be one of the rare instances where it’s socially acceptable to Instagram your food.
Location: 4139 University Way NE
Often the last stop of the night for the UW’s drunken frat boys and stoner freshmen, Aladdin’s is not exactly an elegant establishment. But if you don’t mind wading through stumbling co-eds and possibly a little vomit, then for only $6.50 you’ll get one of the best gyros in town with fries and a drink. The guys who work there seem like they’re on meth half the time, but they can sure make a good gyro.
Location: 7311 Aurora Ave North
It’s actually kind of hard to find a greasy spoon in Seattle; it’s not much of a diner city. There are plenty of swanky cafes and organic bakeries, but sometimes when all you want is biscuits ’n’ gravy, the closest thing you’ll find on the menu is gluten-free French toast with soy whip cream.
Thank God for Beth’s, which serves classic, American, heart-attack-inducing diner fare, 24 hours a day. It’s a bit of a hike from any of Seattle’s major bar scenes, but there’s a 12-egg omelette waiting for you at the end of it.
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Christan Leonard is a writer, journalist, and photographer currently teaching English and sipping on cheap wine in the south of France. She is a proud Seattleite and her wayward spirit is in a constant battle against the incessant urge to move back to her hometown which she loves so dearly. She graduated from the University of Washington in 2011 with degrees in international studies and economics and she hopes to use her vague educational qualifications to trick unsuspecting corporations into paying for her travel expenses.